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Indigenous entrepreneur Temaana Sanderson-Bromley wants to inspire First Nations people to start their own business

Brendan Foster -

Budding First Nations entrepreneur, Temaana Sanderson-Bromley, hopes his fashion label inspires young Indigenous people to start their own businesses.

The Adnyamathanha, Narungga and Wangkangurru Yarluyandi man started his surf-inspired fashion brand Mardlaapa Designs in late 2021, which blends Aboriginal artwork with modern designs.

"I wanted to start a business for a while and I had been putting it off and I was always making excuses, like I'm not old enough and I don't have enough experience," Mr Sanderson-Bromley told National Indigenous Times.

"But eventually I just bit the bullet and started it and it was one of the best decisions of my life.

"I wanted to create clothing that I liked myself and I wanted to create a company that would benefit the environment.

"I wanted to be a leader in a way to show Aboriginal people that starting your own business is an option and I think that is something people forget about."

The 19-year-old said many of his screen printing designs for his t-shirts, jumpers, beanies and caps, which he digitally creates online, are inspired by Country.

The Adelaide local said many of his t-shirts have political commentary text that affects First Nations people.

"I grew up in Kaurna (Adelaide) along the beach, but I'm also from the (Narungga) York Peninsula, Adnyamathanha (Flinders Rangers) and Wangkangurru Yarluyandi) (Simpson Desert) so all my work has a strong sense of drawing designs from my land, my Country and my people," he said.

"As well as contemporary issues today, like Change the Date and a whole bunch of issues that impact our community.

"One t-shirt is called an acknowledgement t-shirt and is designed with text acknowledging country.

"I do a lot of the events and marches here in Adelaide and last year in the NAIDOC march and Survival Day there was a bunch of people wearing my t-shirts, which was a rewarding thing to see that people in the community are wearing them to express their values."

Mr Sanderson-Bromley said he was committed to promoting sustainable and ethical practices with his business by donating a certain percentage of his profits to different environmental and wildlife causes.

"So at the end of the year I'm going to donate five per cent of the sales for the first half of the year to Bounce Back which is a program that works on bringing back endangered animals in the Flinders Rangers," he said.

Mr Sanderson-Bromley said while starting his own business had come with a few teething problems he's loved the experience.

He wants other young Indigenous people to take the plunge and start their own company.

"It's been an amazing experience for me. I found it interesting having to sort out stuff for suppliers and having everything my responsibility that way if I muck I take the responsibility for it," he said.

"Some designs haven't been as popular but that's part of the learning and acclimatising to the market and seeing what everyone likes.

"I would love to open up a store eventually and I just want to keep it operating and moving forward and constantly becoming bigger."

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